Monday, September 7, 2009

Rolling Bars, Ott's Folly; Cross-Purposes To OWI Reform

Call it special disinterest legislation:

State Rep. Alvin Ott, (R-Town of Brillion), is proposing that pedal-driven rolling bars - - on which patrons on board could imbibe and/or manipulate the steering and brakes - - be permitted on Wisconsin roads and other locations, the Associated Press reports.

It's not clear if drinkers could actually steer or brake the vehicle; regardless, it does put an entirely new spin on "open carry," to say the least.

Lest you think some practical joker is out there confusing Labor Day with April Fool's, here is one of many links in Midwestern media to Ott's Folly [my term, not his].

Yeah, this is some great PR for Wisconsin - - akin to the proposal from one of Ott's brethren also representing people in the 1st Senate District - - that school teachers pack guns in the classroom.

Ott's Folly comes to light just as other Wisconsin's legislators are talking about reforming the state's weak and ineffective drunk driving laws, which are part of the reason Wisconsin leads the nation in drunken driving.

Ott says there is interest in bars rolling through Lambeau Field parking lots.

I can't imagine stadium management wanting that liability on the property, or that pedestrians would appreciate the risk.

Can you picture these rolling bars (and yes, "pedal pubs" does sound a bit more quaint, something along the quiet, traditional British tavern model...) on Regent Street during the Badger football weekends, or through taligaters at Miller Park, or on Water Street in downtown Milwaukee on a hot summer night around bar-closing time?

Has Ott discovered an alcohol deficiency on Wisconsin roads or at sporting events that needs curing?

And please: don't tell me that criticizing the idea somehow is an argument for Prohibition.

Criticizing the proposal is an argument for sanity.

I predict Ott's 'idea' will be drowned by waves of laughter and condemnation.

And that the collective disbelief sure to follow the Folly may actually push more serious-minded legislators towards a true OWI reform package - - if only to distance themselves from a really bad idea that would make Wisconsin's drunk driving situation even worse.

But that a legislator would put his name on such a zany proposal underscores the ignorance or disinterest in certain corners of the State Capitol about Wisconsin's drinking-and-driving problems.

Ott has been in the legislature since 1986: you'd think he'd know and do better..


Anon Jim said...

Alvin Ott - yet another bright & shining example of why we should have term limits.

Dave Reid said...

I'm curious has there been some problem with this service in Minneapolis?

Anonymous said...


The passenger/drinkers cannot steer or brake. They can just pedal or not.

Check out the videos of the thing.

Barry (not the Alvarez)